Review: Rome de Bellegarde XO Cognac

In 2018 the defunct Cognac brand Rome de Bellegarde made headlines when a shot of its brandy, produced in 1858, sold for more than $14,000, making it the most expensive shot of Cognac ever sold. Shortly thereafter, sensing an opportunity perhaps, the brand was revived by the latest generation of the Bellegarde family, and its…

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Review: Windsor 2017 Viognier and 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

A pair of wines from Windsor Vineyards, which is based in Sonoma County’s Santa Rosa, California. 2017 Windsor Viognier California – This immediately struck me as pretty off-target for viognier, with aromas running to coconut water, lemon peel, and melon — with none of the expected florals and peach/apricot notes evident. On the palate the…

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Review: Suntory Ao World Whisky

It’s safe to say that a whisky like Suntory Ao is one of the most unique whiskies the market has ever seen. The idea, however, is simple: Gather up whiskies from the five most noteworthy whisky regions in the world —  Japan, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the U.S. — and blend them into a perfect…

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Review: NV Avaline Sparkling Wine (2021)

Cameron Diaz and Katherine Power’s Avaline project began with a humble pair of white and rose wines, but now the brand’s success has led to new expressions, including a red wine and a sparkler, which we review here. This nonvintage bottling is actually a Spanish wine made from the same grapes as the white —…

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Get to Know This Ridiculously Good Rum From a Proud Trinidadian Maven

SPONSORED CONTENT The brainchild of Proud Trinidadian Marc Farrell, Ten To One has recently been taking the Spirits Awards scene by storm, winning Best Rum of 2020 at both the LA Spirits and Asia International Spirits competition, and quickly gaining a reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the market. Ten To One’s…

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Review: Mayor Pingree Rye and Bourbon 13 Years Old (2020)

We know Michigan-based Valentine Distilling best for its eponymous vodka, but  the company also produces gin and a number of whiskeys, two of which we review here. What’s in these bottles of “Old Ping,” named after a beloved Detroit mayor who served in the 1890s? We’ll describe each in turn. Mayor Pingree Rye Whiskey (Orange…

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Review: 2018 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Russian River Selection

This brightly fruity pinot noir surprises not just with its bold cherry fruit but also cranberry and blueberry notes. Secondary notes of bay leaf, tobacco, and some baking spice offer nuance. But it’s the bold berry fruit that really resonates here, right through to the tart finish. A- / $45 / garyfarrellwinery.com  Related Stories: Review:…

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Review: Bomberger’s Declaration Bourbon and Shenk’s Homestead Whiskey (2020)

The 2020 editions of Bomberger’s and Shenk’s, the duo of annual whiskey releases that make up the Michter’s Legacy Series, arrived briefly on shelves last fall. Each was limited to less than 2000 bottles, so there wasn’t a lot to go around, but we managed to get our hands on samples of each. For both…

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